Pharmaceutical and medical device companies continue to utilize mobile technology and apps during clinical trials to help gather information as well as recruit participants. There are several clinical trials underway where apps are at the forefront. The pharmaceutical company Roche recently released an asthma app aimed at the care providers of children participating in their ACOUSTICS trial. Apple’s ResearchKit has become a fan favorite in the medical research world, and there are currently several clinical studies underway in which academic hospitals have utilized the software to create apps for their clinical trials. Massive enrollment numbers by Stanford’s ResearchKit study are proof of this.

To get a better idea of how mobile technology can add to a clinical trial, look at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles (CHLA) and how they are getting the most from their clinical trial app. They are currently studying sickle cell disease and are working to identify biomarkers that could be an important part of the development of new treatment options. They released a clinical trial app called R-Helper, which allows patients to tell them exactly when they are experiencing pain, thus providing invaluable real-time information.

Boston Scientific has made a name for itself in the health and medical field thanks to its extensive catalog of medical products. They manufacture a number of products from catheters to vascular stents. Currently, they are undergoing clinical trials for their pain management Precision Spinal Cord Stimulator System with the help of the app My SCS Journey. The Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) is designed to help patients manage chronic pain in the back and leg region. The two systems in use during the trial are the Precision Plus and the Precision Spectra Spinal Cord Stimulator System. The patient’s doctor decides which model is used during the trial.

image00

Both systems are wireless, and they can be used alone or in conjunction with other therapies. The Spinal Cord Stimulator System works by using electrical signals to mask or interrupt pain impulse signals before they reach the brain. The clinical trial generally lasts anywhere from 3-7 days. Patients use the My SCS Journey app to detail their pain levels as well as their activities during the trial to help determine, along with their doctor, whether the SCS could work for them. During the clinical trial patients use a removable external version of the stimulator system but the actual system is designed for long-term use and is implanted under the skin making removal much harder. Keeping this in mind, the information obtained from the My SCS Journey app for some patients could prove to be an invaluable decision-making tool. Yet another example of how during some clinical trials, apps can be a game changer.

image01

Links: 
iTunes

The Boston Scientific Precision SCS Systems